Title

The physiology of predator stress in free-ranging prey

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

11-1-2009

Abstract

Ecologists have only begun to understand the physiological mechanisms underlying individual- and population-level responses of prey- to predator-related stress. Sheriff, Krebs and Boonstra advance this field by providing evidence that predator-induced increases in glucorticoid concentrations in wild female snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) impact both litter size and offspring condition. They hypothesize that the glucocorticoid-mediated effects on reproduction provides an adaptive benefit: Mothers 'programming' their offspring to be timid and risk-averse in high-risk environments should increase their survival probability. This research illuminates the connection between stress physiology and population-level changes and demonstrates the surprisingly far-reaching impact of predation risk. © 2009 British Ecological Society.

Publication Title

Journal of Animal Ecology

Volume

78

Issue

6

Share

COinS